Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead: A New Day is the most high-profile adventure game to hit the market since Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain. Set in the same universe as, and running concurrently with, the events of The Walking Dead comic and television series, A New Day, the first of a five episode game release, is filled with the same human drama that’s set against the backdrop of a zombie invasion.
A New Day is a short game, but it’s crammed with goodness. If you’re a bit leery of the game due to the hobby’s long, craptacular history of licensed properties, read on to discover why you should check out The Walking Dead: A New Day.
Lee Everett Isn’t A Walking Stereotype
I will admit that I rolled my eyes when I first saw Lee Everett’s character design, and learned his back story, at a Telltale Games’ meeting during E3 2011. Black guy. Ex-con. I’ve been down this path before whenever a brotha is given the spotlight in any medium. I was half surprised that he wasn’t also a former basketball star who’d dropped out of high school. That said, The Walking Dead: A New Day’s script portrays Lee as a regular guy with strong familial bonds despite a murder charge. No rhymin’, no dancin’, no shuckin’, no jivin’. And I approve.
Clementine Is Irresistible
I’ve been gaming since the early ‘80s, and I can honestly say that very few characters have managed to make me connect with them emotionally. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater‘s Boss/Naked Snake dynamic tugged on my heartstrings, but other than that combo…nothing. That’s until Clementine came along. I’m not sure if it’s the cute moe design or voice acting (it could be a combination of both!), but a paternal instinct to protect the lil’ zombie-survivor kicked in big time moments after meeting her. Clementine is A New Day‘s heart, hope, and reason I’ve played through multiple times.
It’s Story-Centric, Not Combat-Centric
I, for one, am sick of air-venting zombies. We’ve been doing it since the original Resident Evil, and as such, explosive headshots mean absolutely nothing. There was need for a new type of zombie game to free us from the shotguns to the face and chainsaws to the gut, and The Walking Dead: A New Day heard our plea. Sean Vanaman penned an excellent opening episode filled with interesting characters and tension-filled situations that manages to draw you in without the need for a digital sawed-off. Plus, every decision you make matters in terms of forming relationships with the other survivors.
It’s all love. The Walking Dead‘s second episode arrives at the end of May, which feels like an eternity. I’m eager to reunite with Lee, Clem, and the rest of the dysfunctional crew. It’s odd to say this considering I’ve never read the comic or seen the TV show, but I am now a The Walking Dead fan. Great job, Telltale Games. Great job.